Restored Trolley Car Display Building In The Works

A conceptual rendering of what a future display building for the restored Jamestown Street Railway Trolley Car No. 93 might look like at the Fenton History Center. Submitted photo

With assistance from a local architectural firm, a building to display the restored Jamestown Street Railway Trolley Car No. 93 is in the works.

Bob Johnston, Jamestown Street Railway Trolley Car No. 93 restoration project founder, told The Post-Journal that CPL (Clark Paterson Lee) is in the process of creating architectural drawings of what the display building might look like for the restored trolley car. He receive an initial drawing from the architectural firm last year and provided feedback. Last week, Johnston received a new rendering from CPL.

“It was more inline with what we were hoping for,” he said. “We’re going to be meeting with (city and CPL officials) on Friday and, hopefully, we will go over some more things.”

Johnston said it’s not known how much the display building for the trolley will cost seeing that the process is still in the design phase.

“That is the next step once we’re OK with the design, but we’re still in the design state,” Johnston said. “If we can agree on a design, then (CPL) can put some numbers to it, cost and stuff like that. We will use that to get some funding for (the display building). We have to know what it will cost to move forward.”

The logo on the milk bottle cap for the former Goose Creek Dairy in Ashville. Bob Johnston, local historian, is looking for information about where in Ashville the former dairy was located. Submitted photo

Those interested in donating money to the possible future display building can do so by sending a check to the non-endowment fund that has been established at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. Donations can be made through the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation either online by visiting crcfonline.org or directly by specifically mentioning the trolley project on a check that can be mailed to the foundation at 418 Spring St., Jamestown, NY 14701.

Last year, Johnston announced that the Fenton History Center and the city of Jamestown were working on plans to possibly store the restored trolley at former Governor Reuben Fenton’s former estate, located at 67 Washington St., Jamestown. Johnston said he discussed the idea with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist and Noah Goodling, Fenton History Center executive director. He said the potential location for the trolley car display building could be along Washington Street at the bottom of the hill.

“We’ve made a proposal for it to be in front of the Fenton by the main entry driveway,” he said. “It could help draw attention to the Fenton.”

The restoration of the trolley car has been a project that has been ongoing for more than 25 years. However, restoration work really started to move forward on the trolley car in 2014 when Jim Mitchener, Jamestown Street Railway Trolley Car No. 93 restoration project skilled carpenter, came aboard the project. Johnston said the restoration of the trolley is almost completed.

The trolley car restoration project first began in 1996 when Johnston was discussing his love of local history with a friend, Sam Lucariello. Lucariello mentioned his parents, Mauro and Harriet Lucariello, had an old Jamestown trolley car they used as a hunting camp near Dewittville. The family donated it to Johnston and the trolley car was moved back to Jamestown.

Many local businesses have provided materials and services toward the restoration, and many individuals from around the city, county and country have made contributions to both the endowment and non-endowment funds at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

The Jamestown Street Railway Trolley Car No. 93, sometimes referred to as the “Swede Hill” trolley, was purchased by the street railway in 1926 and was in operation on the Willard Street Route until the end of service for the line in 1938.


Johnston, a trustee with the Chautauqua County Historical Society, said he is also working on finding the former location of Goose Creek Dairy that was located in Ashville. He said there is a milk bottle cap that provides the name of the dairy, the location of the business in Ashville and the owner, who was Axel H. Carlson. However, Johnston said he has spoken to several local people about the exact location of the dairy in Ashville, which no one seems to know.

“It’s one dairy we don’t know much about it,” he said. “We’re looking for anybody that has any information at all about the Goose Creek Dairy in Ashville.”

Johnston said the historical society is also selling a book written by Alberta Oonk about the history of many of Chautauqua County dairies and the glass milk bottles they used. Oonk has permitted the historical society to reprint the book in its original form and the society is making them available for a $15 donation.

People interested in buying the book or knows something about the Goose Creek Dairy are asked to call Johnston at 338-5051. Copies will also be available at the McClurg Museum, home of the Chautauqua County Historical Society in Westfield, when the museum reopens to the public.


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